Ted Okon: A Different Reimbursement Approach Is Needed for CAR T, Other Innovative Therapies

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As new, innovative therapies with high price tags, such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, come to market, the US health system will have to start looking at different approaches for reimbursement, said Ted Okon, MBA, executive director of the Community Oncology Alliance.

As new, innovative therapies with high price tags, such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, come to market, the US health system will have to start looking at different approaches for reimbursement, said Ted Okon, MBA, executive director of the Community Oncology Alliance.

Transcript

How would you like to see CAR T and other innovative, but expensive, therapies reimbursed?

At the Community Oncology Conference, the keynote speaker, Dr Scott Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner, voiced concern about how these new technologies, specifically CAR T, will be reimbursed and expressed great concern about that. And we share that concern too. This is not your normal drug, this is more of an overall therapy and I think that we have to look at different, new ways of reimbursing it.

I think we also have to look at the cost of these therapies, which I know why Dr Gottlieb is looking at speeding at the approvals of not only generics and biosimilars but new brands, so you introduce competition into the market. When you have competition, you will bring down prices. That will, in part, handle some of the reimbursement problem, but I think we really have to look at a different approach to reimbursement of these very expensive therapies.

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